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Inmarsat to Implement Product Quality Assurance Programme in Co-ordination With Global VSAT Forum Framework

LONDON, November 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Global Xpress® 2013 Service Launch Will Include Earth Station Testing Requirements Aligned with GVF 'Quality Products' Industry Initiative

Quality assurance is at the heart of Inmarsat's US$1.2 billion Global Xpress system. The launch of this new satellite service will be enhanced through the implementation of mandatory earth station testing requirements.  This will be done in co-ordination with the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the international association of the satellite communications industry.

Through Inmarsat's testing programme, earth station products to be used with the 2013 launch of Global Xpress broadband services will be required to demonstrate high levels of performance to ensure customer satisfaction. Inmarsat's programme will be aligned with the GVF Product Quality Assurance Framework, and meet the GVF Quality Products Industry Initiative.

"Inmarsat is committed to ensuring that our customers receive high-performance broadband satellite products," said Leo Mondale, MD of Global Xpress. "Our decision to require product testing in alignment with the GVF Product Quality Assurance Framework is a clear demonstration of that commitment."

"The global satellite industry is taking next-generation broadband solutions to a higher level of performance," said David Hartshorn, Secretary General, GVF. "Inmarsat's requirement for type-approved earth station products -- and Global Xpress' co-ordination with the GVF Quality Products Initiative -- will give customers the standard of quality that is essential in today's demanding marketplace."

GVF provides earth station testing through a mutually-recognized type approvals framework and an industry-authorised network of testing entities. Major satellite operators rely upon or conduct their own testing in co-ordination with the service, which is provided by GVF through its Mutual Recognition Arrangement Working Group (MRA-WG).

"Global type-approvals, which have a major bearing on industry profitability and competitiveness, have gained in importance as demand for satellite-based systems and services have increased and volumes have risen," said Colin Robinson, Chairman of the MRA-WG. "Inmarsat's support for the industry's quality-assurance initiative is well timed to address that trend."

The MRA-WG maintains procedure GVF-101, which defines a set of standard tests that an antenna or earth station manufacturer must perform in order to apply for type approval from any satellite operator who is a member of GVF. Use of this procedure assures the quality of the ground communication equipment and provides the earth station operator with a complete set of measured and verified test data. This helps reduce the time and cost required to bring new ground-segment technology to the market, provides credible measured performance data for use in developing link budgets, thereby advancing the competitiveness of satellite communications services.

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services.  Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air.  Inmarsat employs around 1,500 staff in more than 40 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. For more information, please visit http://www.inmarsat.com

About GVF (http://www.gvf.org)

GVF is the international association of the satellite communications industry. Supported by 200 companies based in every major region of the world, GVF promotes higher standards of service, greater levels of market access, improved regulatory conditions, and heightened awareness by the private and public sectors of the advantages afforded by state-of-the-art satellite-based fixed and mobile solutions.

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